The Cartier Love Bracelet

The Love bracelet, yellow gold with 4 diamonds

The Love bracelet, yellow gold with 4 diamonds

Hehe. You know what's funny? When you can't make eye contact with the person you're speaking with.

You know what I'm talking about, right?

I mean, as a species, we humans are a good one, aren't we? We're advanced, reasonably intelligent, marginally civilized. And yet we can't seem to control our eyeballs during moments when it's reeeaally important that we do, for the sake of politeness!

Of course, your heart's in the right place: you honestly do want to make eye contact, you really do... But it just never works out. Our eyes just seem to automatically go to someone's...

  • Big breasts
  • Big pimple
  • Something stuck in their teeth (me... fml)

Or, the subject of today's post,

  • Jewelry

I guess some of these are gender specific. :)

For example, here's my personal anecdote of being distracted by jewelry: Every day, my high school calculus teacher used an overhead projector in class. And every day, the light from the projector bulb would catch in the diamond of her wedding ring... and sparkle ALL over the place. Every tiny movement of her hand as she wrote out math problems on the slides would reflect and refract light EVERYWHERE. Distracting, right!? In the end, I never did get to see the actual ring... but maybe it's a good thing -- the best things live in the imagination, right? ;)

Well, one of the parts of me that consistently gets a lot of attention is my left wrist: specifically, my Cartier Love bracelet.

A bracelet with the most romantic concept ever, the Love bracelet can be opened and closed only with its little gold screwdriver. A symbol of everlasting love, it's meant to be worn 24/7.

Jon surprised me (an understatement... I remember freaking out lol) with this for our 3rd Valentine's day ♥. Since Valentine's day is approaching again, and since the Love bracelet is a classic, romantic investment piece, I thought it might be nice to review my thoughts on it and provide information for those who are interested / prospective buyers. Before making big purchases I like to get super obsessed with research, photos, and reviews -- so hopefully this post will be helpful to those with the same type-A nature :). I'll discuss the most popular issues regarding the Love bracelet, and my conclusion at the end. Here we go!

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Wear

  • Weight: I was pleasantly surprised by the weight of the bracelet. At first it seemed heavy, but after about two days the bracelet stopped feeling like a heavy foreign object and instead just felt like a part of me.
  • Biggest sources of damage: I think most of the damage was incurred in the 1st month, when I was still "adjusting to life with the bracelet." Basically I had to learn to put on my hoodies without letting the zipper touch the bracelet; how to type without banging the bracelet on my laptop; reach into my purse without scratching it on the zipper, etc. After that first month though its really just second nature.
  • Gym: At first it felt REALLY WEIRD, but no problems other than that.
  • Cleaning: If I'm going to be doing house chores with cleaning chemicals, or filing my nails, I'll wear a sweatband over the bracelet. I just picked up a simple one from Target.
  • Long-term wear: Yes, the bracelet will eventually acquire a patina from daily wear and tear. Personally I'm not bothered by this, I believe that when items show wear, it means that they've been loved! All my favorite books have tiny splotches of ramen on the pages because when I was young I used to love to eat noodles while reading hehe. (Still do.) I think a worn jewelry piece is much more charming than a pristine one that's always being "saved for a special occasion," what do you think?

Metal Detectors & Airport Security

Yes, you'll set off the metal detector alarms and security in airports. If the alarm does go off it just takes a few extra minutes for them to double check you. You just show them that you can't take the bracelet off. To be honest, the first few times this happened it was a thrill haha :)

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Engraving

  • Cartier provides courtesy engraving within 3 months of purchase.
  • Amount of characters: Different SAs have told me different things. Note that with the Love bracelets that have diamonds, the number of characters is limited since the engraving has to be done between the diamonds. We did "♡ Meo Cung 08.14.10" = 19 characters including spaces and periods. (It roughly translates to "Beloved kitten" and the date we met -- "kitten" is his pet name for me, and I promise it sounds less weird and more charming in Vietnamese than the English translation lol).
  • The engraving itself: We had our engraving taken care of by the Beverly Hills boutique, even though it was farther for us than the South Coast. Note that they use local 3rd party engravers -- they don't send it to the NY Cartier for engraving. Our engraving turned out fine, but not perfect. Maybe I'm just a type-A OCD Nazi, but I think the engraving is a couple degrees off center. Just FYI.

Cost

  • Cost per wear: Many women like to view items in terms of "cost per wear," and because of its 24/7 nature the Love bracelet is a good candidate for that kind of evaluation. In another year, the CPW for my bracelet will be $13.70, pretty good! Way better in comparison to some of my "cheap" clothing buys that I've only managed to wear a handful of times... and thus actually have a higher CPW than the bracelet!
  • PurchasingCurrent prices aren't listed on Cartier.com but they are on Cartier.us. If you know you are going abroad soon, definitely consider purchasing abroad. During the months last year that the Japanese yen depreciated a lot, we were able to pick up Jon's Tank watch in Narita airport right before Cartier "calibrated" its Japanese prices -- literally, the SA showed us the new price tags that were supposed to be put out the next day. It was a 20% difference!
  • Price increases: For the last decade or so, luxury prices have been increasing at an incredible rate -- typically an increase of one or two each year, and between 5% to 10% each time! Cartier is no different. Everyone thinks this rate of increase is ridiculous and for the most part I agree. However once you look a little closer, you'll see that things aren't quite as simple or horrible as they seem. Inflation every year is about 2%, so we shouldn't count that against Cartier. I plotted the prices adjusted for inflation (prices are for the yellow gold, 4-diamond Love): After the recession, prices actually decreased between 2010-2012!
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Conclusion: 

After a year with my Love bracelet, I can tell you honestly that I love this bracelet even more than I thought I would.

Phew, another Homeric odyssey of a post. Only love, diamonds, and Cartier could keep anyone's interest this long, am I right? :) Right. So follow me on Bloglovin' for more of the same! :D

To end things, I'll share a couple interesting tidbits I picked up: per this Vogue article, some New York hospitals keep a spare screwdriver just in case one of those stylish New York women come in and they need to remove her bracelet! 

And here's an old Cartier ad for the Love bracelet -- how cool is that? (Check out the price lol!)

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